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Defaulting on the Welfare State

It is vital that MPs consider the serious implications of our current public debt commitments and public debt projections. On current projections, the UK will default on its welfare state commitments, including those related to pensions. We must move our debt projections to a sustainable path. The reports that this briefing looks at highlight the need to take a long-term view of our public finances.

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ESA and PIP changes in Budget 2016

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I have been asked to explain reasons for the changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill and the debacle over Personal Independence Payment (PIP). In the Summer Budget 2015, the Chancellor announced that, from April 2017, new ESA claimants who are placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). This change only affects new claims made after that date, not those […]

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Unemployment in Wycombe continues to fall

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This morning, I received the great news that the number of claimants for Jobseekers’ Allowance and Universal Credit is continuing to fall. The total number of unemployed claimants in Wycombe constituency in March 2016 was 907, compared with 956 one month earlier and 1064 one year earlier. This represents a rate of 1.6% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, giving Wycombe one on the lowest claimant rates in the UK. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 2.5%. This […]

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The choice at the next election in 80 seconds

Via sharethefacts.conservatives.com, “the choice at the next election in 80 seconds”: The election in May is the most important in a generation, and the choice couldn’t be clearer. It’s between the competence of the Conservatives, with a long-term economic plan that is securing a better future for Britain – or the chaos of a weak Labour leader propped up by who-knows-what minor party. You can join Wycombe Conservatives or donate here.

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Rage against the machine: homelessness, hunger and the message of Christmas

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Yesterday in Parliament, I spoke in two debates: one on homelessness and one on food banks. In the first debate, I began It is a thorough and utter disgrace that anyone should be homeless in the 21st century in our country. It makes me wonder whether the welfare state safety net has any meaning whatever when people are out there, dying on our streets—and I do mean dying on our streets, because on Christmas day in 2006, Josie Razzell died […]

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Latest Unemployment figures for Wycombe

In March 2013, there were 2,105 unemployed claimants in Wycombe – 52 lower than in March 2012. The figure for March 2013 represents a rate of 3.7% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, which ranks Wycombe favourably as the 409th of the 650 UK constituencies ordered by unemployment.

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A new debate is emerging on the scope of the state

Few people would tolerate a country in which the poor starved or went homeless and yet in Wycombe food is provided by the One Can Trust and emergency winter shelter by Wycombe Homeless Connection. Last time I divided the social security budget (£207bn) by the number of people in poverty (13m), the figure of almost £16,000 was higher than the income of over half the population. Despite spending so much money, the welfare state fails to keep people to a decent […]

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A return to mutual aid?

The Telegraph writes: To promote prudence and responsibility, rather than the dependency and waste of the welfare system, we should return to mutual aid societies It’s an idea with which I have great sympathy, as I have written before.

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Brussels poses serious threat to our welfare reforms – Telegraph

IDS writes for the Telegraph: This Government is currently striving to build a new welfare system, one based on a fairer deal between claimants and the British taxpayer. But a decision emerging from Europe this week has the potential to completely undermine these reforms. The UK has no problem playing its part in supporting the free movement of labour in the EU. However, what the EU is now trying to do is get us to provide benefits for those who […]

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These welfare reforms won’t hit the spot – Frank Field MP

An article well worth reading in full – These welfare reforms won’t hit the spot – Frank Field MP: Overwhelmingly, voters reject the idea that the right to welfare should be decided on grounds of need. A vast majority insists that welfare should instead be earned. Voters are deeply uneasy with the direction of policy, begun in the early Sixties, that has seen Britain move away from its insurance-based system, where benefits were awarded only to those who had paid in, […]

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